Rounds 2 & 3 of the Queensland Championships are run in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Championship and the Australian Rally Championship Rounds held in the Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Imbil all encompassed into the event known as the ” International Rally of Queensland ” or IROQ. The QRC field was fronted by Eli Evans who was on special allowance to test his Honda for racing overseas.There were a number of cars this year that entered into other categories but are still eligiable for QRC points. Matt vanTuinen entered in the APRC, Jay Davidson entered ARC, and a few other QRC regulars entered the Classics Challenge all this added up to a total entry list of 22 cars.
Leg1 SS1 Gibber. Evans took an early lead but the cars to watch for the series were close behind. Both vanTuinen and Davidson came out with exhausts blazing with times just shy of 2 seconds apart and with Aaron Brown hot on their tail pipes. An impressive run by Gerard McConkey in his much older Celica GT4 saw him just 10 seconds off the pace in 5th place.
SS2 Derrier North. The notable mover here was Kent Lawrence pulling out the stops and blitzing Aaron Brown by 10 seconds and Jay Davidson by .1 of a second and moving into 2nd place.
SS3 Kandanga. Kandanga was to be the end for Kent Lawrence as he had mechanical issues. I talked with the team at service park and they started noticing a power drop near the end of SS2 but decided to try and soldier on , after SS3 though decided caution was the road to take and lucky so as they had blown a head gasket and pushing to hard could have resulted in complete engine failure. So by the end of Kandanga Davidson had climbed back to second and Marius Swart 3rd. SS4 New Million. Matt vanTuinen continued to buid on his lead by some 44 seconds over Jay Davidson with Marius still sitting in 3rd in the VW Polo. Clay Weston dropped a place down to 8th while the rest of the field improved their position.
SS5 Woodland. Throughout the field positions maintained as far down as P8 with Kim Acworth not starting due to a clutch failure . Todd Webster dropped a place and the rest of the field again improved.
SS6 Gibber 2. Matt vanTuinen still held his grip on 1st despite Davidson actually posting the better time still with Marius chasing all the way, Webster pulled himself back up to 9th and the rest of the field maintained position. SS7 Derrier North 2. The second running of Derrier saw P1,2 &3 stay the same with vanTuinen still holding onto a convincing lead. Aaron Brown plummeted down the lists to 14 and didn’t return for the next stage with the official cause being a mechanical DNF.
SS8 Kandanga North 2.Nothing notable to report except Clay Weston moving up to P6 and Ian Menzies moving up to P11. SS9 New Million 2.Van tuinen had his hands full staving off Davidson but managed to stay in front the rest of the field maintained their positions. SS10 Woodland 2. The final stage for Leg1, the only position change this stage was Ian Menzies moving up to P10. At the time of going to press the results were still being listed as unofficial results with the overall round win going to Matt vanTuinen, 2nd Jay Davidson, 3rd Marius Swart. So out of 22 starters for round 2 of the championship there was a total of 14 finishers what was day 2/ round 3 going to bring. Sunday Leg 2 / Round 3 Round 3 saw a starting lineup of 20 cars, some of those that DNF’d Round 2 spent Saturday night repairing their machines to be able to run.
The first stage of the day New Million 3, Jay Davidson had the WRX wound up tight for an overall fastest time behind Eli Evans running a 8:56 ahead of Matt vanTuinen’s 8:59. SS12 Woodland 3. While only a short stage of just over 5 km Woodland produced some of the best action of the event and this time round was to be no different. Jay Davidson had either found some more power over night or Matt vanTuinen was having some problems, posting a 3:31 to Davidson’s 3:28. Phillip Casper and Wayne Menzies both moved up a spot each to 8th and 9th respectively. SS13 Kandanga South 1. Stage 13 was a reverse direction running of the same stage from Saturday. Davidson took the outright stage win with Eli Evans dropping down the lists to 6th and we also saw Ryan Smart in his classic Datsun 180B drop to 7th. At the top of the field Kent Lawrence moved up to 4th and Ian Menzies to 2nd, While Matt vanTuinen retired with suspension issues. SS14 Speedie Contractors. That was the sprint stages done now the Marathon Speedie Contractors which was a joining of the Gibber and Derrier stages to form a 35.72 km marathon.
Ian Menzies was on fire and had been steadily moving up on Davidson and this was to be no different taking a massive 7.9 second bite out of Davidsons lead, leaving him with only 4.2 seconds clear his position was now looking shaky. Kent Lawrence moved up to 3rd and the rest of the field right down to P11 all moved up a spot. SS15 Kandanga South 2. Stage 15 was to have been another crack at Kandanga however due to an incident involving the only entry in the SUV class and the time delay involved in resolving the incident SS15 was cancelled and the cars now left to have another go at Speedie Contractors. SS16 Speedie Contractors. The Final stage for the event and unfortunately for the QRC contestants running so far down the order the weather started to move in. The attrition was stacking up 13 cars were all that was left of 20 starters Davidson still holding on by fingertips claimed the win despite Ian Menzies best efforts .
So at the time of publication we still don’t have an official point score but the provisional results look like this. P1 Jay Davidson P2 Ian Menzies P3 Kent Lawrence. What a fantastic 2 days of competition, 2 rounds of the Championship 2 winners. The Border Ranges Rally is the next round of competition and what a round it is, this year comprising a round of both the Qld & NSW titles so it’s State of Origin Rally don’t miss it we wont till next time . STAY DUSTY.